Clintonville man pleads not guilty to holding teen hostage

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CLINTONVILLE, Wis. (WSAW) -- The 35-year-old man accused of kidnapping a teenage girl and demanding ransom from her mother has pleaded not guilty.

Elijah Kerrigan, of Clintonville is charged with 11 counts related to the Jan. 8 incident.

According to the criminal complaint obtained by WBAY-TV, Kerrigan demanded $2,500.

State and federal officers were called to help with the search for a missing teen. The victim's mother allegedly received a text message from Kerrigan.

According to court documents, it read "This is to let you know that [VICTIM] was kidnapped by myself and my men and we demand a ransom payment of 2,500 before we release her back to you alive."
Officers interviewed the victim's friends and were told that she could be with a man named Elijah Kerrigan.

They were able to track Kerrigan down to a motel in Clintonville. On Jan. 7, Clintonville Police were called to Kerrigan's room for the report of an odor of marijuana coming from the room. Police never made contact with Kerrigan that day.

On Jan. 8, agents with the FBI and Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation responded to the motel. Staff confirmed that the victim was at the motel with Kerrigan.

Agents located the victim in the room and arrested Kerrigan. They found meth, a meth pipe and marijuana on him, according to the complaint.

The victim said her family knew Kerrigan and he had been like a "father figure" to her. She said Kerrigan made money selling drugs from the motel room.

The criminal complaint states investigators found a child pornography video on Kerrigan's phone.
He’s in custody on $50,000 cash.